“Here for the first time he took heart to hope
For safety, and to trust his destiny more
Even in affliction.” The Aeneid, I, Virgil
The great city of Troy has fallen in an inferno of death and destruction. Having lost his wife, Aeneas embarks on an Odysseus-like voyage across the Mediterranean with a small band of fellow refugees. Finally they are shipwrecked on the shores of Carthage, in the realm of queen Dido. Aeneas, a pious and dutiful man, has been stretched to the breaking point. But his patron, the goddess Venus, has appeared to him and veiled his entry into the new city. Aeneas’s heart is renewed in hope, and trust, even in affliction.
To hope and trust even in affliction requires much of us. Aeneas ‘took heart to hope.’ Such taking heart is a matter of will. Hoping well is a disposition that we can cultivate. We might begin by asking ourselves: what is the basis of our hope, and what can we do to hope better?
For a fuller reflection on hope in the new year, please see my post today at Aleteia.
Virgil (70-19 B.C.) is the great Roman poet, author of The Aeneid and The Georgics. In the Divine Comedy Virgil appears as Dante’s guide through hell and purgatory.
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE:
“‘Try to pay attention to me,’ she said, ‘as best you can. You see, the man who has been thus far educated in matters of Love, who has beheld beautiful things in the right order and correctly, is coming now to the goal of Loving: all of a sudden he will catch sight of...read more
“Peace is the tranquility of order.” St. Augustine, The City of God There are few words that exercise such a power over our hearts, and our imagination. A few years ago I was giving a lecture at a division-one university, introducing students to some basic points in...read more
When I was down beside the sea A wooden spade they gave to me To dig the sandy shore. Robert Louis Stevenson, At the Sea-Side A Child's Garden of Verses There is nothing quite like playing alone. To watch it is a privilege. Indeed, in watching one might even...read more
Husband, father, and professor of Philosophy. Bacon from Acorns springs from one conviction: there is an ancient wisdom about how to live the good life in our homes, with our families; and it is worth our time to hearken to it. Let’s rediscover it together. Learn more.